PUTRAJAYA, Aug 20 — Two former transport ministers from MCA signed agreements that forced the government to compensate private firms operating the Automated Enforcement System (AES) regardless of fines collected, Anthony Loke said today.
Referring specifically to Tan Sri Kong Cho Ha and Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Loke also said law enforcement functions should not involve private companies.
“The AES agreement is a lopsided one because the federal government had to pay these concessionaires whether summons are collected or not,” he told a news conference.
“Only fools would sign such an agreement. To MCA leaders, use your brain before speaking next time,” he said, referring to statements issued by MCA leaders on condemning Putrajaya’s move to halt the AES and cancel fines totalling RM435 million.
Loke explained that there were two tiers of payment to the two concession companies: ATES and Beta Tegap.
The first included a RM16 fee for each AES summons issued, even if the fine is never paid.
“In the second tier, for every summons collected, the government paid 50 per cent to these companies,” he said
Based on these, Loke said the Barisan Nasional Government had paid a total of RM129 million to the two firms.
Commenting on the agreement in which the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT), through Irat Properties Sdn Bhd, had to pay RM550 million to take over the two concession companies to run the AES network, Loke said this was necessary to move forward with the government’s plans.
However, he said the payment would be in stages.
“The Road Transport Department (RTD) will be fully in charge on AES cameras come September 1.
“And we will be introducing some ‘interesting packages’ together with the move,” Loke said, without elaborating further on the summons or other aspects of the takeover.
Loke announced on Friday that the government was wiping off 3.1 million summonses issued under the privatised system, with a combined value of RM435 million in potential fines pardoned.
The introduction of the AES had been fraught with controversy over the questionable legality of private firms essentially performing the role of a law-enforcement apparatus.